Collections and Resources, Events, Literary, Rare Book Collection, Special Collections

Program Will Highlight UNC’s Newest Rare Books April 15


The Raw and the Cooked – and the Rare
Thursday, April 15, 2010
5 p.m. Reception (Lobby) and book viewing (Rare Book Collection Reading Room)
5:45 p.m. Program (Pleasants Family Assembly Room)
Wilson Special Collections Library
Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library,, (919) 962-4207

On April 15, treasures will come out of the stacks at the Rare Book Collection in UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library.

In a free public program at 5:45 p.m., Claudia Funke, curator of rare books, will speak about the concept of rarity and the role of libraries in collecting and making rare books available.

For her talk, titled “The Raw and the Cooked – and the Rare,” Funke will showcase some of the collection’s recent gifts and purchases.

Participants will have the opportunity during a reception beginning at 5 p.m. to view additions to the Rare Book Collection from the past two years. Items will range in date from the 17th to the 21st centuries.

“Nothing will be under glass,” said Funke. “This will challenge the idea of musty old books.”

Funke would like visitors to see the wide range of books that are considered rare and valuable for research. “Rare books have the power to bring the past to life and to give us new ideas about our own place in history,” she said.

Among the items on display will be:

  • El mundo cientifico, inventos moderno (Barcelona: 1912-1922), an extraordinary 11-volume encyclopedia of technology, profusely illustrated and containing 129 color plates with movable parts;
  • Elements of Morality, for the Use of Children (London: 1799), Mary Wollstonecraft’s translation of C. G. Salzmann’s pedagogical work, with illustrations by William Blake;
  • Civile Wares (London: 1609), Samuel Daniel’s poem on the Wars of the Roses, a source for William Shakespeare, complete in eight books;
  • The Annual Anthology (Bristol: 1799-1800), one of three known copies containing the suppressed “War Poem” by Robert Southey [gift of Mark and Martha Reed in honor of Charles McNamara];
  • Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan (New York: 1841), a first edition of this classic illustrated account, inscribed by author John Lloyd Stephens to President Martin Van Buren, who had dispatched him to the region;
  • Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (Peking: 1966), the first English edition of Mao’s little red book, with the stamp of Robert F. Williams, a civil rights activist and president of the Monroe, N.C., chapter of the NAACP in the 1950s and early 1960s.

The talk will be Funke’s first as curator of rare books. She came to UNC Dec. 1, 2009, after serving most recently as curator of rare books at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University in New York.

For information about the Rare Book Collection, contact Funke:, (919) 962-1143.

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